Ariopsis felis Photo Claire Sunquist ©
Hardhead Catfish, also known as Sea Catfish or Mudcats, are common in Florida waters. Like their freshwater relatives, these fish have barbels that look like the whiskers of a cat which they use to feed and sense prey in murky waters. They are usually a steely gray color with a white belly.
Hardhead Catfish will take just about any type of bait and are considered a nusiance by some anglers. Their flesh is seldom eaten. When caught, they usually secrete a slimy substance that makes them difficult to handle. Anglers should handle catfish with care as their pectoral and dorsal fins are armed with spines that carry a painful protien. If you are stuck by a catfish spine, you should apply warm water to flush out the protein.
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